My Disney Top 5 - Details in Backstage Magic With Mickey Mouse

by Chris Barry, contributing writer

Welcome back to another My Disney Top 5.

The other night my family was sitting around talking about returning to Walt Disney World and my now 13-year-old daughter offered the following comment: “The next time we go to Disney, I want to spend an entire day just walking slowly around the Magic Kingdom and taking pictures of all the details.” She has certainly learned to appreciate all of the small things that one can encounter when walking through a Disney park. We’ve raised that kid right haven’t we?

As she has grown older, particularly in the last year, she has developed (no pun intended) a strong interest in photography. On any given Disney trip, we return with hundreds and hundreds of photos. They serve as documentation of our magical experiences, and they also serve as inspiration for yours truly when it comes to writing this column. I’ll pore through the files of pictures looking for moments, or objects, or details in order to trigger my next article. Sometimes, especially when something is new, I’ll snap away with the intent that someday, “There will be an article in these photos.” Such was the case last summer upon our first visit to the “new” Mickey Mouse meet and greet area in the Magic Kingdom.

Backstage Magic with Mickey Mouse is located inside the Town Square Theater—just through the right side tunnel and under the railroad tracks as you enter the Magic Kingdom. Last spring the meet and greet opened and Mickey currently shares his theater with the Disney Princesses. Meeting Mickey Mouse is pretty much a rite of passage for kids (and big kids as well) in this country and our family is no exception. Even though we’ve all met Mickey many times before…we wanted to see what the Imagineers cooked up for the mouse’s new hole on Main Street U.S.A. after losing his house in Toontown. There are lots of cool details in this area including tributes to classic Disney films and attractions. Of course, the camera was firing away. So, let’s take a look at my Top 5 Favorite Details in Backstage Magic with Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theater.

5 – Merlin’s Disappearing Rabbits

Merlin's Disappearing Rabbits cage. Photo by Chris Barry.

One of Mickey’s magic tricks has apparently already disappeared from, or perhaps in, his cage. I’m always up for a Sword in the Stone reference and I love how the “i” in Merlin resembles Merlin’s hat. Look for a book called Hare Replacement on top of the cage.

4 – The Rabbit in the Magic Hat

Mickey's magic hat. Photo by Chris Barry

“Meet the Master Magician As He Prepares You For His Next Program of Baffling Illusions!” reads one of the banners just before you meet Mickey. Any magician worth his weight has to have a magic hat with a disappearing rabbit, doesn’t he? This hat sits on top of Mickey’s wardrobe, and if you look closely at the hatbox it bears a label marked “Ten Shillings & Sixpence, LTD.” This is, of course, a reference to Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter and the price tag of 10/6 left on his chapeau. You can even see a graphic representation of said hat on the label. And who better to pair the Mad Hatter with then a rabbit of course. It’s too hard to read in this photo but the print underneath reads, “Hats For All Occasions…Birthdays, Unbirthdays And All Days Between.”

3 – The Birdhouse from Mickey’s Toontown

The transplanted birdhouse. Photo by Chris Barry.

I love it when the Imagineers place a tribute to a previous attraction inside the attraction’s replacement. Think about the picture of Mr. Toad in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Even though this meet and greet isn’t on the same ground as the former Mickey meet and greet in Toontown, it is essentially a replacement. This birdhouse was in Mickey’s garage in Toontown and now sits high on a shelf in Curtain Call Collectibles, the gift shop you are led into after meeting with Magician Mickey.

2 – Club 33, Anaheim, California

The Club 33 travel sticker on Mickey's trunk. Photo by Chris Barry.

Mickey’s trunks are adorned with classic looking travel stickers that pay tribute to the Disney resorts worldwide such as the Grand Floridian from Florida, the Mira Costa in Tokyo and the Hollywood Hotel in Hong Kong. My favorite sticker, though, has to be from the famous and exclusive Club 33 in Disneyland.

1 – Madame Leota’s Crystal Ball

Madame Leota's crystal ball. Photo by Chris Barry.

The Haunted Mansion is perhaps my favorite all time attraction and seeing this tribute inside Mickey’s backstage dressing room made me very happy. What made me even happier was when I realized that this shelf was not just a tribute to one classic attraction. All four items on the shelf represent the four parks of Walt Disney World. Nicely done!

Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Magic Kingdom on Magician Mickey's shelf. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

This room is full of other surprises, but these are my favorites. I can’t wait to head back here on our next trip and capture some more of the hidden treasures and tributes the Imagineers crammed into this one space. From the Oswald poster in the queue, to the disappearing bird from Journey into Imagination, not to mention a bag of Tuppence and a bottle of Madam Mim’s Potion and Spells, there’s just so much to look at and document.

If we could just tear ourselves away from the giant mouse next time…maybe between my new photo hound daughter and I will capture all of the fantastic little details this meet and greet has to offer.

Mickey signs autographs for the kids. Photo By Chris Barry.

So, make sure you grab yourself a FASTPASS and pay Mickey a visit the next time you’re passing by the Town Square Theater. Check out all of these details, take your own photos, and make your own magical memories courtesy of Magician Mickey and the amazing Imagineers.

That's My Disney Top 5 for today. What's yours? Click on the "Discuss this article on MousePad" link below and share your list!